Wagyu beef is known as the most delicious—and expensive—steak in the world. It isn’t overpriced, as producing Wagyu beef is different from other types of meat that you would get at your local supermarket.

At the Japanese Wagyu Olympics, breeders can display the quality of their cows. Winners can sell their cattle and carcasses to the best restaurants and butchers in the world for the highest price. But there is more to winning. It involves the Japanese concept of ikigai. “[Ikigai] is a deep sense of purpose; the reason for getting up every morning; that which gives one’s life much of its meaning,” said Andrea Fazzari, James Beard award-winning photographer and author. Wagyu production is a long, complicated process. So the Olympics provide Wagyu beef farmers the opportunity to show the results of their efforts to breed the best cow.

Absolute perfection doesn’t exist. But we also get to taste the delicious flavor and high quality of Wagyu beef thanks to the Japanese idea of ikigai.